France to UN: Break ‘scandalous silence’ on Syria

United Nations - Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Tuesday urged the UN Security Council to end its ‘scandalous silence’ over bloodshed in Syria by supporting a resolution calling on President Bashar al-Assad to quit.

“We are gathered here today to end the scandalous silence of this Council,” Juppe said. “We are gathered today in order for the Security Council to assume its responsibilities toward a suffering people.”

Hague, Clinton and Juppe at the United Nations meeting on Syria, 31 January 2012.

Juppe said that the Arab League – whose member Morocco proposed the draft resolution – would take the lead in the proposed peace plan under which Assad would step down ahead of talks on the country’s political future.

“It’s for the Arab League to implement it,” Juppe said. “Our responsibility is to help them by sending the Syrian regime a clear message that the international community is united behind Arab efforts.”

But Russia has opposed the resolution and, along with China, vetoed an earlier proposal on Syria in October. Moscow and Beijing both criticized Western powers for using force to oust late Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi.

“Syria is not Libya,” Juppe said. “Nothing, absolutely nothing, in this proposed resolution… can be interpreted as authorizing the use of force.”

Inaction on Syria would ‘shake’ UN credibility: Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that inaction on Syria would “shake the credibility of the United Nations,” and accused opponents of a draft resolution of complicity in the violence.

Appearing before the UN Security Council, Clinton urged support for an Arab League-backed resolution that calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step down, in the face of steadfast opposition from Russia.

“We all have a choice: Stand with the people of Syria and the region or become complicit in the continuing violence there,” Clinton said, without mentioning Russia by name.

Source: AFP

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